This murder roused the Thebans and all the Boeotians to a frenzy of hatred against the Romans, for they thought that Zeuxippus, a leading man in the state, would not have committed such a crime without the cognizance of the Roman commander.
They had neither army nor leader for a rebellion; turning to what was most like war, to brigandage, they cut off some soldiers in the taverns, others as they travelled about on various errands during the winter season.
Some on the public highways were lured by decoys into planned [p. 357]
ambushes, some were brought by trickery to deserted1
inns and killed;
finally, such crimes were committed not only from hatred, but also from greed of booty, because the soldiers who were usually travelling on business had money in their purses on their journeys.
While at first the losses were small, but then grew larger day by day, all Boeotia began to have a bad name, and the soldiers were more afraid to leave camp than if they were in hostile territory. Then Quinctius sent agents among the cities to inquire into the charges of robbery.
Most of the murders, it was found, had been committed around the Copaic swamp; there bodies were dug out of the muck and drawn from the marshes, with stones or jugs fastened to them so that the weight might drag them deeper into the mire; many other crimes were found to have been committed at Acraephia and Coronea.
Quinctius at first ordered the criminals to be delivered to him by the Boeotians and a fine paid of five hundred talents for the five hundred soldiers, for so many had been killed.
When the cities obeyed neither order, but merely made the verbal excuse that no act had been committed with official sanction, having sent ambassadors to Athens and into Achaea, to call the allies to witness that he was about to wage lawful and rightful war upon the Boeotians, he
ordered Appius Claudius to proceed against Acraephia with part of the forces and himself with another detachment invested Coronea, after first devastating the country through which both columns marched from Elatia. The Boeotians, dismayed by this calamity, when the whole region was filled with terror and flight, sent ambassadors.
When these were not admitted to the camp, the [p. 359]
Achaeans and Athenians arrived. The pleas of the2
Achaeans had more weight, because, if they did not obtain peace for the Boeotians, they had decided to join the war upon them.3
Through the Achaeans an opportunity was gained for the Boeotians to visit and address the Roman, and
they were ordered to hand over the criminals and pay thirty talents by way of fine, and were granted peace and the discontinuance of the siege.